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UCU dismisses employers' hypocrisy over damage to students' education

16 January 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU has today announced plans for a series of two-hour strikes aimed at disrupting teaching at UK universities as part of a row over pay.

UCU said today that it was amazed that the university employers' representatives had dared to accuse the union of putting students' education at risk.

The union said it would not be lectured on problems for students from a body that failed to oppose £9,000 student fees and has presided over an 11% hike in the cost of student accommodation in the past three years.

UCU said that recent embarrassing stories about vice-chancellors' pay, while staff receive real terms pay cuts, just added to the rank hypocrisy from university bosses. UCU members are involved in a dispute over pay with universities. They rejected a 1% pay increase this year that would have seen their pay drop by 13% in real terms in the past five years.

Yesterday student groups described the employers' 1% pay offer as 'measly' and called for a quick resolution to the dispute. UCU said it had no interest in damaging anyone's education and called on the employers to come back to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Staff will not be lectured on damage to students' educational experience from people who backed trebling fees to £9,000 a year, have whacked up student rents by 11% in three years and award themselves large pay rises while keeping down the pay of their staff.

'Any kind of disruption is always a last resort but, after five years of pay suppression with members 13% worse off in real terms, we want a fair deal.'

Universities across the UK will face disruption in the form of a series of two-hour strikes from next week if the increasingly fractious dispute over pay is not resolved. The first three two-hour stoppages will take place at these times:

Thursday 23 January 11am-1pm

Tuesday 28 January 2pm-4pm

Monday 10 February 9am-11am

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